Extradite Walter Palmer

lyingking

By now you’ve heard about big game trophy hunter Dr. Walter Palmer who lured Cecil the lion out of his refuge in Zimbabwe and killed him (over a period of 40 hours). For “sport.”

Zimbabwe has asked the United States to extradite Palmer to face charges for what he did. Reportedly the penalty for killing a lion is a fine of $20,000 and up  to ten years in prison. The fine obviously would be of no consequence to Palmer, but ten years in a foreign prison would probably get his attention.

The US has had an extradition treaty with Zimbabwe since 1997. As a nation of laws and because no American is above the law (at least in theory), we’ve no reason not to comply with Zimbabwe’s request (although no doubt a man of Palmer’s wealth and ethical standards will have the very best lawyers fighting to block his extradition).

In addition to sending Palmer back to Zimbabwe because it’s the right thing to do, we should be drafting whatever laws are necessary to ensure no American ever again is allowed to pursue “trophy hunting” in either a foreign country or here and make it illegal to buy, sell, trade, bring into this country, or possess anything that is the result of trophy hunting.

Any hunter serious about wanting to “help” or “save” a species should be content with paying the required fees or more (contributions, donations, foundations) without actually killing an animal. The killing only proves that the “trophy” was the objective all along. (And in those situations where culling is necessary, let it be done only by wildlife experts.)

cecil_the_lion

Cecil

Note, Oct 12, 2015: The Associated Press is reporting today that Zimbabwe is no longer seeking Palmer’s extradition and that he has been cleared of any charges in that country. He is free to return to that country as a “tourist” because he did not break any of Zimbabwe’s hunting laws. Palmer had no comment.



Categories: Green, Society

23 replies

  1. I’m not sure of the terms/language of the extradition treaty. Those will probably be the decision maker whether he is sent back or not. If the language allows the possibility, he should be sent back. I don’t care if he did have a bow and arrow and guides, the lion was lured like a canned hunt, injured for 40 hrs (could he have been saved, I wonder, if a vet had gotten to him), finally killed after poses, and his collar cut off and attempts were made to hide the crime. Fine example of ugly American.
    Some animal preserves depend on hunts to support other animals and experts cull herds of undesirable animals. I’m not sure they are charging enough for paid “hunts”.
    The game wardens are already enforcing some animal parts imports. That’s not a bad idea at all – if you can’t bring the stuffed trophy back, maybe the appeal will lessen.

    • If the hunters are paying the fees because they “care” about the animals and want to “support” them, let them pay the money and leave the culling to the wildlife professionals. As with the elk in RMNP, give the meat to needy families. Paying for the right to kill an animal is a loathsome practice. As are the canned hunts we have in this country.

      • The preserve management said the meat is sent to needy there, too…unless as in this case, the hunt is illegal and it all rots. Waste all the way around. Now they are looking for Cecil’s brother who poachers may have killed.

      • It sounds like they preserve/lion guardians have located the brother lion, Jerico, and have a picture showing he’s ok
        The US Game and Wild Life people found the dentist. The more the story comes out, the worse it gets. Experts say there’s no way he wouldn’t have seen the collar if he was close enough to hunt with bow and arrow (but not skilled enough to do a clean kill…so how can he even think he has bragging rights for the kill? What an idiot). It also sounds like they followed him onto preserve lands and then dragged the body out so it wouldn’t be contested. I do hope there is some way to force him back to face their laws/justice. Meanwhile social media is going to keep him from working.

  2. Hi PT–
    There is a petition by We The People on whitehouse.gov folks can electronically sign to support his extradition, for those who (like me) had to do something, anything, but cry for the wasteful, selfish loss of this innocent life. The list of unscrupulous shootings grows much too long, from Samson the bull elk, to the female wolf roaming in AZ, to the cow elk in RMNP, now to Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe. And too many others i cannot recall while typing here. Thanks for posting this one– i am so cheering for extradition!!!

  3. I just read that Cecil’s brother, Jericho, has also been killed. No details yet. I have never understood why some think this kind of killing, these canned shoots, are something to brag about? Now if the animal had some kind of fighting chance . . . Nah, that ain’t gonna happen. Yes, extradite the SOB!

    • I’d heard another lion had been killed, but not that it was Cecil’s brother. You don’t suppose Palmer shot Jericho, then realized it wasn’t the lion he wanted and went on to kill Cecil? Sure wouldn’t put it past a man like that.

  4. This premeditated and planned killing had absolutely nothing to do with “culling” the heard! Both the guide and the hunter need to be brought up on charges befitting poachers!

    • No one said this killing had anything to do with culling. I was just saying when culling is done (as with elk herds in Colorado), it should be done by wildlife professionals only. Hunters who get their jollies from killing shouldn’t be allowed to participate.

      Palmer’s two guides have already been arrested. But Palmer is the instigator; he needs to be extradited and charged along with his guides.

  5. Thank you for posting this — and for signing the petition. I signed it, too, and hope it will lead to the extradition of the dentist. I’ve always wondered whether dentists are sociopathic sadists. Well, Dr. Palmer is, in my opinion.

    • I don’t know if the petition will have any influence, but I certainly hope US officials realize extradition is the right thing to do. Not extraditing would make us accessories to the crime, aiding and abetting Palmer’s crime and flight from justice. It would (once again) make it look like Americans are above the laws of other countries.

  6. Palmer deserves his day in court and I sympathize with the sentiment behind the outrage over his alleged illegal killing.

    On the other hand, the notion that professionally created game management programs that legalize hunting of certain species with strategically designed bag limits aren’t both effective and cost efficient is without merit.

    • Walter Palmer has been tried and convicted in Social Media for killing an animal, as if this was a human being. Was the hunt legal? Apparently not but at the end of the day the guide and and service he used in Zimbabwe is at fault for this. They picked the animal and did what they did to lure it off the preserve. Buying a lion safari in Zimbabwe and shooting an animal is not illegal.
      Had this been a different lion, you wouldn’t have heard a whisper.

      Calling for Palmer’s extradition seems to be missing a really important fact. Zimbabwe is not exactly a country governed by the rule of law, it’s a failed state run by a brutal dictator who has single handedly destroyed the country’s economy and who routinely beats and murders people who oppose him politically.

      Sending Palmer to Zimbabwe to “have a day in court” therefore, is a waste of time, no one gets a day in court in that country there is no independent judiciary. European countries who have extradition treaties with the US do not honor those treaties when they involve capital crimes in states the preform executions. Personally this is the same situation for us. I don’t think we should be sending our citizens to countries that don’t honor the rule of law or that don’t have functioning judiciaries (or governments).
      And should he go to jail, I’m sure it would be death sentence. As many on social media have called for, a death sentence for killing an animal shows a very misguided set of priorities.

      Trophy hunting in Africa has no justification in terms of game management or species preservation. And for governments like Mugabe’s, who turned Africa’s breadbasket into a bankrupt starving country it’s a source of foreign cash. My point is Zimbabwe’s outrage over this, in my opinion, manufactured, insincere, and a reaction to the millions of kids on social medial who just love a cause d’jour.

      Just to keep things in perspective, there are an estimated 240,000 political and economic Zimbabwean refugees in neighboring countries and the UK. Maybe some of this outrage about this lion should go toward helping those folks instead of threatening Walter Palmer and his family for making a mistake. Lets reserve our angst for some real world problems.

      • I don’t know anything about conditions in Zimbabwe, but is that even relevant? We have an extradition agreement with Zimbabwe and they’ve asked for extradition. Going there in the first place and then intentionally breaking the law was entirely Palmer’s choice.

    • Palmer can have his day in court — in Zimbabwe.

  7. I used to hunt. Squirrels, ducks, and pheasants. What I shot, I ate. I never hunted anything larger because I could not be sure of the one-shot kill.

    I know some hunters who are in it for the kill (making the shot, bagging the limit, etc.). They too donate the meat to soup kitchens and the like, and they keep to the law (time or year, type of weapon, limits, permits, etc.) Trophy hunters I don’t understand, but then I don’t understand a lot of people, so that’s neither here or there.

    In matters of culling, it’s usually hunters who are hired to cull animals. As opposed to paying for a permit to hunt, they are paid per kill (that might not be true everywhere). For example, the metro parks around the Detroit area (when I lived back there) instituted no hunting rules in and surrounding the parks . . . and within two years were overrun with deer. Car-deer collisions went up, and even human attacks. Basically, if you hiked the park, you would interact with deer in one way or another. The vegetation and cultivated landscaping suffered greatly. So they hired hunters to come in and kill a lot of deer.

    Now, while I bemoan the existence of this Cecil-shooting jerk, I would like for some of that outrage to funnel into outrage over our food chain and how the slaughter animals are treated. Bring about real reform, and you help literally millions of animals.

    I do think the Dentist will have this follow him and his family for the rest of his life. That might be punishment enough.

    And, I think the reaction to the killing is disproportionate to the act. Some drunk kills someone with a car, and you don’t hear the same outrage, people asking for reforms, banning booze because someone abuses the right to get drunk. But, get someone with a gun, and boy oh boy do they come out of the woodwork.

    • I’ve no objection to hunters who hunt for food and obey all the laws while doing so. But trophy hunting, just for the glory of killing a particularly large or good-looking animal is disgusting.

      The only culling program I’m familiar with is in Rocky Mountain National Park, where the elk population sometimes gets out of hand because of the lack of natural predators. The few hunters allowed to participate are background-checked and trained and hunt under NPS supervision.

      The outrage in this case had less to do with guns than with the particular animal that was killed and the fact that it was done illegally. Palmer initially used a bow, not a gun. It’s the popularity of the animal and way in which it was lured and killed that is causing the outrage.

      • Yes, he used a bow . . . but when I read articles demonizing the guy, as he should be, somehow guns come into the play. One article drew the comparison to shootings of people in the US.

        Regardless, I still have a problem with “celebrities” (be they humans or animal) imbued by society as somehow having more value than “regular individuals (be they human or animal).

        To be clear, I am completely against trophy hunting. People hunting just so they can mount the head of an animal on a wall are never going to be people I hold in any regard, and probably with a lot of contempt (I say probably because I would have to hear their reasoning for it.)

        There are hunters who might commemorate a particular hunt with a trophy, but even then, were I hunting and happen to see a magnificent specimen, my first instinct would not be to kill it. Hunting is supposed to involve a certain respect for the animal. Like I’ve said, I’ve not hunted in many years, so I don’t know much about the current hunting culture. The hunters I know (from when I hunted) did not go out just to kill. I know a few young hunters (relatives) and am very disappointed at their approach to hunting.

        Most culling I am familiar with amounts to little more than slaughter but like I said, I’m not familiar with all instances. The Rocky Mountain program still probably recruits from hunters who volunteer, and I doubt the training includes actual hunting skills (those require years to master). Likely, it has to do with identifying potential targets.

  8. In today’s print. Sounds as if the big money hunters are winning. Zimbabwe is not pursuing extradition because of the negative impact it would have on their international big hunters income. And the creep is returning to his practice, saying his staff and patients want him back. So he skates. Zimbabwe caves. Those beautiful endangered animals, and the world, lose.

    • Sad. But I don’t believe for a second he’s going to just walk back into his office this morning, greet his first patient, and pick up his drill. My guess is if he gets into his office at all, it will be with a police escort. And if I were one of his patients, I’d have already found a new dentist.

"Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance." ~ Plato

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